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Esmarch bandage (also known as Esmarch's bandage for surgical haemostasis or Esmarch's tourniquet) in its modern form is a narrow (5 to 10 cm wide) soft rubber bandage that is used to expel venous blood from a limb (exsanguinate) that has had its arterial supply cut off by a tourniquet. The limb is often elevated as the elastic pressure is applied. The exsanguination is necessary to enable some types of delicate reconstructive surgery where bleeding would obscure the working area. A bloodless area is also required to introduce local anaesthetic agents for a regional nerve block. This method was first described by Augustus Bier in 1908.
(Translated and reprinted in Survey of Anesthesiology 1967,11, 293-)
The original version was designed by Friedrich von Esmarch, professor of surgery at the University of Kiel, Germany, and is generally used in battlefield medicine. Esmarch himself had been Surgeon General to the German army during the Franco-German War. It consisted of a three-sided piece of linen or cotton, the base measuring 4 feet and the sides 2 feet 10 inches. It could be used folded or open, and applied in thirty-two different ways. An improved form was devised by Bernhard von Langenbeck later on.
Esmarch bandages are also used by cardiac surgeons in delayed mediastinal closure for patients who have experienced certain complications post cardiac surgery (e.g. myocardial oedema or severe postoperative bleeding).
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First aid is the first and immediate assistance given to any person suffering from either a minor or serious illness or injury, with care provided to preserve life, prevent the condition from worsening, or to promote recovery. It includes initial intervention in a serious condition prior to professional medical help being available, such as performing cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) while waiting for an ambulance, as well as the complete treatment of minor conditions, such as applying a plaster to a cut. First aid is generally performed by someone with basic medical training. Mental health first aid is an extension of the concept of first aid to cover mental health, while psychological first aid is used as early treatment of people who are at risk for developing PTSD. Conflict First Aid, focused on preservation and recovery of an individual's social or relationship well-being, is being piloted in Canada.
Lymphedema, also known as lymphoedema and lymphatic edema, is a condition of localized swelling caused by a compromised lymphatic system. The lymphatic system functions as a critical portion of the body's immune system and returns interstitial fluid to the bloodstream. Lymphedema is most frequently a complication of cancer treatment or parasitic infections, but it can also be seen in a number of genetic disorders. Though incurable and progressive, a number of treatments can improve symptoms. Tissues with lymphedema are at high risk of infection because the lymphatic system has been compromised.
Compartment syndrome is a condition in which increased pressure within one of the body's anatomical compartments results in insufficient blood supply to tissue within that space. There are two main types: acute and chronic. Compartments of the leg or arm are most commonly involved.
Emergency tourniquets are cuff-like devices designed to stop severe traumatic bleeding before or during transport to a care facility. They are wrapped around the limb, proximal to the site of trauma, and tightened until all blood vessels underneath are occluded. The design and construction of emergency tourniquets allows quick application by first aid responders or the injured persons themselves. Correct use of tourniquet devices have been shown to save lives under austere conditions with comparatively low risk of injury. In field trials, prompt application of emergency tourniquets before the patient goes into shock are associated with higher survival rates than any other scenario where tourniquets were used later or not at all.
Battlefield medicine, also called field surgery and later combat casualty care, is the treatment of wounded combatants and non-combatants in or near an area of combat. Civilian medicine has been greatly advanced by procedures that were first developed to treat the wounds inflicted during combat. With the advent of advanced procedures and medical technology, even polytrauma can be survivable in modern wars. Battlefield medicine is a category of military medicine.
Cardiothoracic surgery is the field of medicine involved in surgical treatment of organs inside the thorax —generally treatment of conditions of the heart and lungs. In most countries, cardiac surgery and general thoracic surgery are separate surgical specialties; the exceptions are the United States, Australia, New Zealand, and some EU countries, such as the United Kingdom and Portugal.
Internal bleeding is a loss of blood from a blood vessel that collects inside the body. Internal bleeding is usually not visible from the outside. It is a serious medical emergency but the extent of severity depends on bleeding rate and location of the bleeding. Severe internal bleeding into the chest, abdomen, retroperitoneal space, pelvis, and thighs can cause hemorrhagic shock or death if proper medical treatment is not received quickly. Internal bleeding is a medical emergency and should be treated immediately by medical professionals.
Cardiac surgery, or cardiovascular surgery, is surgery on the heart or great vessels performed by cardiac surgeons. It is often used to treat complications of ischemic heart disease ; to correct congenital heart disease; or to treat valvular heart disease from various causes, including endocarditis, rheumatic heart disease, and atherosclerosis. It also includes heart transplantation.
An orthopedic cast, or simply cast, is a shell, frequently made from plaster or fiberglass, that encases a limb to stabilize and hold anatomical structures—most often a broken bone, in place until healing is confirmed. It is similar in function to a splint.
Henry C. Dalton was superintendent of the St. Louis City Hospital from 1886 to 1892, and later a professor of abdominal and clinical surgery at Marion Sims College of Medicine. He is noted for being the first American to perform the suturing of the pericardium on record. Spanish surgeon Francisco Romero was documented with performing two successful surgeries in 1801 and French surgeon Dominique Jean Larrey was documented as successfully performing surgery on a woman's pericardium in 1810.
Johannes Friedrich August von Esmarch was a German surgeon. He developed the Esmarch bandage and founded the Deutscher Samariter-Verein, the predecessor of the Deutscher Samariter-Bund.
Veterinary surgery is surgery performed on animals by veterinarians, whereby the procedures fall into three broad categories: orthopaedics, soft tissue surgery, and neurosurgery. Advanced surgical procedures such as joint replacement, fracture repair, stabilization of cranial cruciate ligament deficiency, oncologic (cancer) surgery, herniated disc treatment, complicated gastrointestinal or urogenital procedures, kidney transplant, skin grafts, complicated wound management, and minimally invasive procedures are performed by veterinary surgeons. Most general practice veterinarians perform routine surgeries such as neuters and minor mass excisions; some also perform additional procedures.
A tourniquet is a device which applies pressure to a limb or extremity in order to limit – but not stop – the flow of blood. It may be used in emergencies, in surgery, or in post-operative rehabilitation. A simple tourniquet can be made from a stick and a rope, but the use of makeshift tourniquets has been reduced over time due to their ineffectiveness compared to a commercial and professional tourniquet. This may stem the flow of blood, but side effects such as soft tissue damage and nerve damage may occur.
A gunshot wound (GSW) is physical trauma caused by a bullet from a firearm. Damage may include bleeding, broken bones, organ damage, infection of the wound, or loss of the ability to move part of the body. Damage depends on the part of the body hit, the path the bullet follows through the body, and the type and speed of the bullet. Long-term complications can include lead poisoning and post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Emergency bleeding control describes actions that control bleeding from a patient who has suffered a traumatic injury or who has a medical condition that has caused bleeding. Many bleeding control techniques are taught as part of first aid throughout the world, though some more advanced techniques such as tourniquets, are often taught as being reserved for use by health professionals, or as an absolute last resort, to mitigate associated risks, such as potential loss of limbs. To manage bleeding effectively, it is important to be able to readily identify types of wounds and types of bleeding.
Limb perfusion is a medical technique that is used to deliver drugs locally directly to a site of interest. It is commonly used in human medicine for administration of anticancer drugs directly to an arm or leg. It is also used in veterinary medicine to deliver drugs to a site of infection or injury, as well as for the treatment of cancer in dogs. In both cases, a tourniquet is used to reduce blood flow out of the area that is being treated.
Brachial plexus block is a regional anesthesia technique that is sometimes employed as an alternative or as an adjunct to general anesthesia for surgery of the upper extremity. This technique involves the injection of local anesthetic agents in close proximity to the brachial plexus, temporarily blocking the sensation and ability to move the upper extremity. The subject can remain awake during the ensuing surgical procedure, or s/he can be sedated or even fully anesthetized if necessary.
Intravenous regional anesthesia (IVRA) or Bier's block anesthesia is an anesthetic technique on the body's extremities where a local anesthetic is injected intravenously and isolated from circulation in a target area. The technique usually involves exsanguination of the target region, which forces blood out of the extremity, followed by the application of pneumatic tourniquets to safely stop blood flow. The anesthetic agent is intravenously introduced into the limb and allowed to diffuse into the surrounding tissue while tourniquets retain the agent within the desired area.
A stab wound is a specific form of penetrating trauma to the skin that results from a knife or a similar pointed object. While stab wounds are typically known to be caused by knives, they can also occur from a variety of implements, including broken bottles and ice picks. Most stabbings occur because of intentional violence or through self-infliction. The treatment is dependent on many different variables such as the anatomical location and the severity of the injury. Even though stab wounds are inflicted at a much greater rate than gunshot wounds, they account for less than 10% of all penetrating trauma deaths.
Ischemia-reperfusion (IR) tissue injury is the resultant pathology from a combination of factors, including tissue hypoxia, followed by tissue damage associated with re-oxygenation. IR injury contributes to disease and mortality in a variety of pathologies, including myocardial infarction, ischemic stroke, acute kidney injury, trauma, circulatory arrest, sickle cell disease and sleep apnea. Whether resulting from traumatic vessel disruption, tourniquet application, or shock, the extremity is exposed to an enormous flux in vascular perfusion during a critical period of tissue repair and regeneration. The contribution of this ischemia and subsequent reperfusion on post-traumatic musculoskeletal tissues is unknown; however, it is likely that similar to cardiac and kidney tissue, IR significantly contributes to tissue fibrosis.